Teams are not born they are definitely formed, built, and developed over time. Teams also have life cycles. There is the stage of forming a new team with enthusiastic new players. There is the stage of sorting out issues, capitalizing on differences, and creating Team Covenants for the future. There is the stage of bringing new energy to an old team in need of inspiration. When team members leave, are terminated, or retire, then it is time to start the cycle all over again.
There are many ways to build teams. Some team builders like to use the “survivor method,” simulating a plane crash, or team members isolated on a desert or an island. This way they get to see who reacts fearfully, who reacts emotionally, and who reacts logically. They get to see who takes on a supportive role, who rallies to handle logistics, and who takes a leadership role. It is also important to see who reacts with a “me” concern verses a “we” focus. The survivor games can be very fun and revealing.
There are outward bound team builders who have a ropes course constructed and take the members of the team through the various activities so that they have a total experience: physical, mental, and interpersonal. These are usually fun, dramatic, and can create long-lasting memories.
Other Team Building Consultants who conduct Team Building exercises deliver motivational speeches, with case studies, get people pumped up and excited to become a winning team. They compare the metaphor to sports teams and what it takes to be the best. This often works with all male teams who are sports oriented, but has less of an impact with non-athletic, computer types.
Depending on the stage of the team and the mix in the group, the process of building it is as delicate as a watchmaker working on a timepiece, and can be as volatile as a bomb squad dismantling an explosive device.
As a part of Team Building, we first meet up with the client who wants to have a Team Building session. We then ask all the key questions:
- What is the size of your team, how many members?
- What would you like to be the desired outcome?
- What are the key issues as you see them?
- How much time can you allocate?
- What is your budget for the Team Building?
- What differences do you want people to experience from the event?
We, then interview key players to help us formulate the design that will accomplish the goal.
After we have gathered the required information, we start to design the event for the team building program. The design is dictated by the culture, the expectations, the objectives, and the developmental stage of the target team. We have the capability to bring in any specialists that are deemed appropriate and desirable, so special consideration must be given to the design that will work to produce the desired outcome.
Over the last 30 years we have conducted Corporate Team Building programs for all sizes of teams from small organizations to Fortune 500 companies in more than 30 countries over 5 continents. No two Corporate Team Building programs were ever the same. Each Team Building program was custom designed to accommodate the requests, needs, and dictates of the members of the team. Some Team Building programs were outdoors, while others involved games and simulations. The majority of the Team Building programs, however, involved real life situations and circumstances dealt with on the job. Dealing with real life day-to-day team issues has made our Team Building programs more relevant, vital, and deployable than hypothetical scenarios. That being said, when the leaders wanted an alternative to the documented concerns, we always complied with their wishes.
Total customer satisfaction is our only objective in our Corporate Team Building programs. That is why we go to the mat to not only meet expectations, but to exceed them and create what we like to call, “Client Delight.” After three decades of conducting this work, we have learned to deliver what the client wants, not what we are capable of presenting, which enables us to achieve the highest success ratio in the human development field.